The Welsh islands of Anglesey and Holy Island, separated from the mainland by the Menai Strait, act as gateway to the wildly beautiful countryside of North Wales. The islands' strategic location has also made them a desirable possession throughout history. During the 13th century, England's Edward I approached Wales from these islands in his fierce determination to conquer and annex Wales to the British Crown. Wales was ultimately united politically with England in 1536 when King Henry VIII signed the formal Act of Union. To appease anti-British sentiment, the king established the custom of naming his oldest son the Prince of Wales, a custom that has remained in effect to this day. Eventually, Welsh representatives were welcomed into the English Parliament. The Welsh economy flourished during the Industrial Revolution. Certain sections of Wales were developed into the world's most productive coal-mining area. Then, during the first decades of this century, the economic tide turned. Today, the government has stepped up efforts to revive industries in the region. The manufacture of iron, steel and tinplate, dairy farms and sheep raising, as well as tourism provide income and job opportunities. Welsh people are remarkably independent. Their ancient and unique language, Gaelic, still widely spoken and taught in school, is preserved in literature and song. The compactness of Wales makes for relatively easy exploring. From Holyhead, visitors can discover a vast section of the north with its quaint coastal villages, fortresses, castles and well-preserved medieval towns. Another highlight is the incredibly scenic Snowdonia Forest and National Park. In addition, visitors can learn about the difficult life of the 19th century miners who labored long and hard during the Industrial Revolution.
The ship is scheduled to anchor at the Fish Dock Pontoon and you'll be taken ashore via the ship's tender. Town is approximately a 20 to 30 minute walk. Taxis are generally available on the pier.
Market Street is the ideal spot to shop for souvenirs. Woolens and hand-knit items, art and old books, Portmeirion pottery, Welsh cheeses, and tapestries are always popular. The local currency is the British Pound; however, major credit cards are accepted in many shops.
Due to the frequent blustery climate, the Welsh people enjoy hearty meals. Pub-type lunches include roasts with cooked vegetables and potatoes. Pastries with sweet butter and jam are enjoyed in the afternoon with piping-hot tea.
Harlech Site of an eight-year-long siege during the bloody War of the Roses, it is today a popular destination. Main focus is the fairy-tale castle with its turrets and towers. Llandudno This well-loved seaside resort is a favorite getaway for locals and visitors alike. Though temperatures rarely invite swimming and rainy days are the norm, the setting is most impressive.